Characteristics of marketing channels: a theoretical framework

Michaelidou, Nina; Arnott, David C. and Dibb, Sally (2005). Characteristics of marketing channels: a theoretical framework. Marketing Review, 5(1) pp. 45–57.



In this paper we focus on the notion of channel characteristics. The discussion presented is based on the idea that proliferation of non-store channels (catalogues, direct mail, Internet, etc) and interest in home shopping generates a need to examine the impact of channels on consumer choice behavior. The limited research that does exist in this domain indicates that aspects such as risk aversion, self-confidence, variety seeking, convenience orientation, flexibility, demographics, etc. all differ measurably and significantly between shopping modes. The practical and theoretical implications are extensive. However, no conceptual models exist that attempt to identify channel characteristics or to link them to behavioral outcomes. This paper proposes and explores the concept of channel characteristics and suggests ways of modelling channel attributes. Its goal is to begin filling this research gap and to open a discussion on the possible impact of channel characteristics on consumer behavior.

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